Living off the grid in The Sims 4 used to be really difficult. When we got the off the grid lot trait when Island Living came out it was a little lackluster, but thankfully there have been some updates made to make the off the grid trait function better and be more fun to play.
Off the Grid Lot Trait
In order to make your sim’s home officially off the grid you need to add the off the grid lot trait. This can be done by going into build mode and going to the houses icon in the top left hand corner of the screen.
You’ll see all the lot traits you have available to choose from and they’ll be in alphabetical order. The off the grid lot trait’s description says “This lot is not connected to the utility grid, and most objects that use Power or Water will not function as expected. Can your sims survive without the comforts of plumbing and electricity? Natural living does have it’s advantages – such as no utility bills.”
Once this is activated for your lot your water and power will be immediately shut off and you’ll need to figure things out to live off the grid.
Bills Information and Tax Breaks
The best part about living off the grid is that you not only save money on your bills because you aren’t using any power or water, but you actually get money back in the form of tax breaks.
If you just have your sims living off the grid with no other forms of tax breaks you are going to get 75 simoleons off of your monthly bills making it easier to pay your lot tax each week. This 75 simoleons breaks down in three ways:
- No Power Usage While Off The Grid
- No Water Usage While Off The Grid
- Property Tax Discount for Living off the Grid
Off The Grid Functionality
There is a section of items you can choose from to add to your home that will have limited functionality, but it is enough for your sims to survive. The two main places that off the grid effects is your bathroom or kitchen.
In the bathroom there are 3 items you need, a sink, a toilet, and a shower/bath. You need to make sure that you’re choosing items that function off the grid from the off the grid category in build mode. These items will function a bit differently from a regular bathroom set.
A toilet that is off the grid is going to have the option to do a water saving flush. A sink will let you quickly wash hands or quickly brush teeth. A bath or shower is going to let you have a quick and tepid bath/shower, this is a fun one because your sim will hop in the shower or bath for a few seconds but their hygiene need won’t get completely full with just one of these showers.
In the kitchen you are able to have a fridge and a stove, as long as you choose one from the Off The Grid category. However, they are going to have different functionality. First off, your options for meals are severely limited. When you click on a stove you’ll see cook off the grid as an option and there will be five options to make which are:
- Grilled Cheese
- Eggs and Toast
- Tomato Soup
- Popcorn Crickets
- Fish on a Stick
You are also able to make any kind of salad, or fruit salad since these don’t need any power to cook.
The fridge has gotten an off the grid update as well. You are now able to add ice to a refrigerator which will allow your fridge to stay cold for 24 hours so you can have leftovers stay fresh in a fridge. When you hover over the add ice option on your fridge it says “fridges will now preserve food even without power, until the ice melts…” and under that description you’ll see the percentage of ice left which gives you a rough idea of how long you have before you absolutely need to add ice.
Grills that you may have outside of your (or inside, no judgement) can function as normal since they are powered by propane or coal or something instead of power.
How to Light Your Home
An off the grid home in The Sims 4 is going to have challenges when it comes to lighting. You aren’t able to just use lights with light bulbs and get on with your life. Your options are much more limited to candles, lanterns, and fireplaces. However, you may want to place some regular lights in your home for times when you may have a power surplus which we will talk about in a bit.
Off The Grid Category
With the June 2020 update to the game we were given an off the grid category in build mode. Anything that is in this category is going to work off the grid when you don’t have a water or power surplus. It includes stoves and fridges that allow you to have some off the grid options and any item that requires no power or water. Use the stuff here, there’s tons of options!
Ways to Get Water
If you wish to have some water available to your sim you may want to have some extra water that you gather yourself. You are able to go to any fishing spot or swimable water (i.e., Sulani ocean) and choose Gather Water which will store some water on your lot and allow you to take regular showers or baths, use a toilet without doing a water saving flush, or use your sink as normal.
Once your sim uses all of this water that they have gathered the lot is going to go back to being off the grid and these regular options will go away until you gather more water.
If you have The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle you are going to have a lot more options for getting water. The first option is the Dew Collector, this will collect water each morning but it won’t amount to a lot but it will let you have a normal shower each day if you wish. This dew collector takes no effort other than having it outdoors somewhere on your lot. The dew collector will have a green eco footprint influence and will be good for your world.
The other option is the water generator. This is the less desirable option if you want your world to become green since it has an industrial eco footprint and will negatively impact your world. You also need to have bits in order to add fuel to the water generator. Once you add the bits you can click to start the generator and water will be created for your lot to use.
Ways to Get Power
I have yet to find ways to get power without having The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle installed in your game.
If you have The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle installed you’ll have a few options for getting power to your lot that will be great off the grid. The first is solar panels which can be placed on the roof of your home or on the ground depending on which type you buy. You also have the option to get a wind turbine to get power. Both of these options are going to have a green eco footprint
You also have the option to upgrade a treadmill to make it generatee power instead of consuming it. To do this you’ll need to be at level 5 of the handineess skill and have two electric upgrade parts and three eco upgrade parts. When you do this any time you are using the treadmill you will get some excess power for your sims to use.
Finally, you have the option of using a power generator. This option is going to work toward having an industrial eco footprint so may not be the best option. You’ll need to give the generator 25 bits in order for it to work. Note: Don’t click the danger button! It shocked my sim causing her to become dazed and started a fire.
Living off the grid in the game is a great option for a sim who is working their way up and has very little money, or a family who just want to be nicer to the environment. Thankfully, there are tons of options for off the grid living and can be a lot easier than we thought. Happy playing!